Information for Parents on the Early Years Foundation Stage
What is the Early Years Foundation Stage? (EYFS)
This is how the Government and early years professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5.
This is an especially important stage as it helps your child get ready for school as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. From when your child is born up until the age of 5, their early years’ experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun, and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs.
Nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes and child-minder's registered to deliver the EYFS must follow a legal document called the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
Why do we have one?
The EYFS Framework exists to support all professionals working in the EYFS to help your child and was developed with a number of early years experts and parents.
It sets out:
The legal welfare requirements that everyone registered to look after children must follow to keep your child safe and promote their welfare
The 4 themes and principles underpin all the guidance
The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge.
Assessments that will tell you about your child’s progress through the EYFS
Expected levels that your child should reach at age 5, usually the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the
“Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
There is also guidance for the professionals supporting your child on planning the learning activities and observing and assessing what and how your child is learning and developing.
What does it mean for me as a parent?
Ensuring my child’s safety
Much thought has been given to making sure that your child is as safe as possible. Within the EYFS there is a set of welfare standards that everyone must follow. These include the numbers of staff required in a setting how many children a child minder can look after, and things like administering medicines and carrying out risk assessments.
You can find out about the quality of your child’s setting and other early years providers in relation to the EYFS Framework by checking what the Government’s official inspection body for early years, Ofsted, has to say about it. You can find this information at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report
At Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. This curriculum is based upon four themes and principles.
Unique Child – Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident, and self-assured.
Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.
Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.
Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.
There are 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning in the Foundation Stage framework curriculum.
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Communication and Language
• Physical Development
• Understanding of the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
How my child will be learning?
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their healthy development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge, and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 Prime Areas first. These are:
• Communication and language.
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning.
As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 Specific Areas. These are:
• Understanding the world
• Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The staff members teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it is suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that we can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.
We strive to ensure that our children receive their entitlement to a free flow enabling environment that supports both indoors and outdoor learning through both adult led and child initiated activities.
What sort of things will children learn during their time with Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C
In the Prime Areas children will learn to: -
• Share take turns and develop respect for each other.
• Make friends and become confident independent learners.
• Behave appropriately when playing with others.
• Listen to others and understand spoken language.
• Learn new words rapidly and use them in conversations.
• Join in conversations with adults and children.
• Develop control of their bodies using both large scale movements such as running and jumping, and small-scale movements such as pincer control and holding a pencil.
In the Specific Areas children will learn to:-
• Enjoy sharing books and stories with adults and friends.
• Draw, make marks, write letters and words.
• Colour recognition, Count groups of objects and recognise numerals.
• Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, distance, time and money.
• Look closely at how things work, why things happen, living things and the natural world.
• Use ICT equipment, e.g. programmable toys. Remote control cars
• Be imaginative, sing songs, dance, and create fantastic models, drawings and paintings.
What will children do during their day/ session?
Your child will take part in a wide range of activities, both indoors and outdoors.
Your child will learn through activities he or she has chosen, or from those that are led by an adult.
They will develop their ability to concentrate in small guided group activities, in which they will learn and practice their phonics, read, writing and maths skills.
Children in Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C learn through play-based activities that are fun and enjoyable. These activities are supported by caring staff members who will work closely with you to ensure your child makes progress.
We keep careful records for each child to monitor their progress, celebrate their achievements and identify their next steps in their Learning Journey book. This record is directly linked to the Development Matters in the Foundation Stage Guidance.
Parents are actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s Learning Journey books through WOW slips and sharing of their child’s learning steps and achievements at home.
As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?
All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development and have a long-lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child, it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
You can also help your child by:
Encourage and praise them for both their efforts and their achievements so that they feel successful and proud of themselves.
Support them in practising their sounds, colours, numbers at home, and in their wider home learning as they move up through EYFS curriculum.
Come into Sunflowers Childcare whenever you can, such as stay and play sessions, performances, story times etc as the Children really love to see you in their space.
Take time to share a book with them – take them to the library regularly. Talk about what stories they have shared at Sunflowers Childcare.
Always encourage good manners and respect to everyone in and out of Sunflowers Childcare.
Encourage them to take care of their belongings and respect things that belong to others.
How can I find out how my child is getting on?
It is important that you and the staff members caring for your child work together. You need to feel comfortable about exchanging information and discussing things that will benefit your child. These conversations will be with your child’s “key person”. This is the person who:
• Is your main point of contact within the setting
• Helps your child to become settled, happy and safe
• Is responsible for your child’s care, development and learning
• Takes a careful note of your child’s progress, sharing this with you and giving you ideas as to how to help your child at home
You are able to get information about your child’s development at any time and there are two stages (at age 2, and again at age 5) when the professionals caring for your child must give you written information about how he or she is doing.
When your child is 2
At some point after your child turns 2, the staff members working with your child must give you a written summary of how your child is progressing against the 3 prime areas of learning:
• communication and language.
• physical development.
• personal, Social, and emotional development.
This is called the progress check at age 2.
This check will highlight areas where your child is progressing well and anywhere they might need some extra help or support – and how mums and dads and other family members or carers can work with the key person to help. You might find it useful to share the information from the check with other professionals such as health visitors (who can use it as part of the health and development review).
When your child is 5
At the end of the EYFS – in the summer term of the reception year in school – teachers complete an assessment which is known as the
EYFS Profile. This assessment is carried out by the reception teacher and is based on what they, and other staff caring for your child, have observed over a period of time.
Another important part of the EYFS Profile is your knowledge about your child’s learning and development, so do let your child’s class teacher know about what your child does with you: such as how confident your child is in writing their name, reading and talking about a favourite book, speaking to people your child is not so familiar with or their understanding of numbers.
All of the information collected is used to judge how your child is doing in the 7 areas of learning and development. Finding out at this stage how your child is doing will mean that the teacher your child has in their next school year – year 1 – will know what your child really enjoys doing and does well, as well as helping them decide if your child needs a bit of extra support, what that support should be and if they are already getting it.
The school will give you a report of your child’s progress, including information from his or her EYFS Profile.
Parents in Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C
When families support their children with their learning, they make better progress, so we are very keen for you to be involved in Sunflowers Childcare life wherever possible. Emails are our current communication method due to the Covid situation and will keep you up to date with all that is happening at the setting. so please take time to read these!
If you would like to support in the setting as a helper with something such as outdoor learning, gardening, sharing stories or arts and craft, please do get in touch. We ask all adults who support in school to complete a DBS check through our office but are always happy to receive extra help as this enhances our provision for your children.
At Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C we strive to work closely with each child’s family to ensure that we are working together to support every child’s learning journey. We appreciate that Sunflowers Childcare is an unfamiliar place for many parents and are keen to help you feel comfortable joining our family and to feel supported as parents.
The Staff Team will always do their best to make time to speak with you, due to the staggered limited time we currently have at the start or end of the day/session due to Covid we are happy to have a telephone conversation regarding any concerns or worries you may have. If we cannot address an issue straight away, we will arrange a time when we can discuss things in greater depth with you. If your home or family are going through a difficult time, or change in circumstances, please do let us know. It will remain confidential within Sunflowers Childcare and enables us to be aware of any additional emotional support your child may need, and to be more sensitive and understanding of any behavioural changes.
Where can I go for further information?
The most important place to find out more is Sunflowers Childcare C.I.C – do ask as many questions as you need to. We really do welcome speaking with you.
There is the booklet what to expect when as this will highlight the different stages of development available at: https://foundationyears.org.uk/what-to-expect-when/
You may want to find out what is on offer at the local children’s centre as these offer activity sessions and have access to advise and help over a wide range of subjects.
Phoenix Health and Children's Centre, Tudor Road, Sudbury, Suffolk. CO10 1NP
Telephone: 01787 888666 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornfields Children's Centre, Off Wells Hall Road, Great Cornard, Sudbury, Suffolk. CO10 0JU
Telephone: 01787 888666 Email: email@example.com
Cherry Blossom Children's Centre, Hadleigh Road, East Bergholt, Suffolk, Postcode. CO7 6QT
Telephone: 01206 299467 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.
We are members of the NDNA (National Day Nurseries Association) and the EYA (Early Year Alliance)